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The Mud Pony

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  243 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
A poor boy becomes a powerful leader when Mother Earth turns his mud pony into a real one; but after the pony turns back to mud, he must find his own strength. Full color throughout.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1988 by Scholastic
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 22, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fascinating folktale that is wonderfully illustrated and is great to read aloud at storytime. It has an old fashioned feel to it, a story that's been passed down from generation to generation.
Nicole G.
1. Culture or group portrayed: Native Americans, specifically Skidi Pawnee.
2. Book information: Cohen, C. (1988). The Mud Pony. New York: Scholastic, Inc.
3. Summary: This is a retelling of a Pawnee folk tale. A poor boy of the tribe wants badly to have a horse of his own, so he fashions one out of mud, and takes care of it as if it were real. One day, the tribe resumes the buffalo hunt, and the boy’s parents, after not being able to find him, leave him behind. The boy is upset and cries himself
Shea Lavalier
• Interest Level: Lower Grades
• Reading Level: 3.7
• Guided Reading Level: L
• Genre: Multicultural Literature
• Support for the genre: This book shares a story and cultural beliefs of the Dakota people and is free from stereotypes. Although the author is not native, the story seems to not be bias.
• Additional Genres: Picture Books, Traditional Literature

A young native boy who longs for a pony creates one out of mud. When his tribe moves suddenly and leaves him behind his mud pony becomes
Kathy Ramirez
I thought this book had a very inspiring story about an impoverished young Indian boy's clay horse had come to life and eventually, he became a leader and confident in his abilities. I think that the story is good, except I am not sure about the concept of Mother Earth and the spirits of Mother Earth being in the horse. I suppose this is an element of the Indian culture that can be beneficial for students to learn about in a classroom. I think that the illustrations are also beneficial for stude ...more
Kelly Borton
Mar 07, 2014 Kelly Borton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mud Pony is a legend of the Skidi Pawnee Native Americans. A boy in an Indian camp that gets left behind for a buffalo hunt. He finds courage and shows heroism through his determination to find his people again. His courage and heroism is found with the assistance of a pony with a voice that comes to life that the boy had sculpted from mud. It's symbolic of the inner voice that gives us courage.

I most enjoyed the illustrations as they showed emotion, movement, and the heroism encouraged by a
Paul Large
Dec 05, 2016 Paul Large rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 20, 2008 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The main focus in this book was about an Indian boy who longed to have a pony. Since he was not able to have one of his own he made a pony out of clay. When he was doing this his tribe left him because they needed to find the buffalo herd. The boy was very sad and scared and so mother earth spoke to the boy in a form of a pony. The pony explained to the boy that he is not alone and that one day he will be chief of his people because he will guide him back to his tribe. After the horrible weather ...more
A mud pony comes to life to guide the life of a future chief.

I really wanted to like this story a lot. I've been a little disappointed with Shonto Begay's work so I figured maybe a different writer could breathe a little more life to the story. Unfortunately, this story left me with more questions than answers. Why did the future chief have to follow the tribe around starving without showing himself to his people? This wasn't fully explained in the book. I'm assuming that the mud pony or "mothe
Heather B.
A Native American boy desperately wanted a horse of his own, but only horse he had was made out of clay. One day, his tribe left him behind because they didn’t know where he was and then magically his clay horse come to life and guided him back to his tribe. The pony guided him for many years, but one day the pony turned back into its original state of clay. I would suggest this title for early elementary age children, kindergarten through 2nd grade. Published 1988, but it a traditional Pawnee s ...more
Andrew Foster
Mar 01, 2012 Andrew Foster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grade Level: 3rd to 5th

First of all, the illustrations in this book are amazing! It is a great story about finding your way with a little help, in this case a horse made of mud that comes to life. It is a great coming of age story with a mentor that guides the main character into believing in himself. This would be a great book to use to explore the Native American culture or to use as a confidence finding/building lesson; a lesson that you can be anything as long as you believe and try.
Chelsey Wilson
Aug 30, 2014 Chelsey Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't normally the type of book that I would pick up and read. The illustrations in there are much different than you see nowadays, but they were very beautiful. I really liked this book and how it goes along with the saying "you can do anything if you put your mind to it." I normally don't see very many books like this about Indians, so this would be a good one to incorporate into a Native American social studies section. I would say that this would be good for 3rd or 4th graders.
Briana Deleon
This traditional, ancient American Indian tale of a boy representing courage is one that could be a fantastic read aloud for younger elementary children. The detailed, distinct illustrations do a nice job in supporting the text. The concept of bravery is classically portrayed in this tale, which makes it a great read aloud book to use with a teacher's guidance.
There was a boy who wanted a pony more than anything. So he made his own out of clay and one night, after being left behind, his clay pony comes to life. The pony guides him to great success in life.

This is a very nice story. I think the main lesson is that no matter what we are never alone, even if we may think so.
Tiffany Kramer
Jun 09, 2016 Tiffany Kramer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another book from my childhood that I desperately what to revisit. I can remember being in awh of the illustrations and feeling both wonder and sadness while reading it but what happens during the tale eludes me now.
May 11, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story was a great way to show how the Native Americans valued Mother Earth. It also shows that the boys power was given to him by Mother Earth, and he must respect that. The moral presented in the story can be explained by saying that persistence and faith can get you where you want to be.
Stephanie A.
Jan 26, 2013 Stephanie A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books, own-it
Two things I loved above all else in elementary school were Native Americans and horses, so you can imagine why this was a book I read A LOT. I have also never made it to the end without crying (just tested this theory. still true).
Kathleen Heroux
Feb 16, 2010 Kathleen Heroux rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: native-american
This is a hero story from the Skidi band of Pawnee Indians. It was adapted from a longer story that was passed on through narrative.
Jiselle Jones
Another great folktale for character analysis. May also be a good one to start a discussion on Native American culture and mythology.
The touching tale of the boy and his horse are beautifully supported by the high quality illustrations in this book.
Deborah Harris
AR Quiz No. 5527 EN Fiction
Accelerated Reader Quiz Information IL: LG - BL: 3.7 - AR Pts: 0.5
Accelerated Reader Quiz Type Information AR Quiz Types: RP, RV, VP
Apr 07, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horses
The illustrations are what make this retelling of an ancient Pawnee tale shine. Lavish and heartfelt, they bring the story alive. Wonderful.
Sara rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2013
Dancingdiva rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2015
Michelle Everett
Michelle Everett rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2015
Yareli Palomino
Yareli Palomino rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2014
Beverly rated it really liked it
Dec 19, 2012
Pat Heart
Pat Heart rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2008
Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2009
Christie Angleton
Christie Angleton rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2016
Ginger rated it it was amazing
Oct 22, 2008
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